Host drove as as fast as he could as soon as he got the message from Adesuwa, he didn’t even think twice before leaving the mansion, he couldn’t even tell Slimmy who is his right hand man, all he was thinking is how fast he could get to Adesuwa’s house to give her the inhaler she left in his car when they went out earlier that day, he wouldn’t forgive himself if he didn’t get there in time to save her from the asthma attack. He parked his car right in front of her compound and stormed through the gate, he was about to turn the knob of the door when he noticed something strange, the key was left hanging outside, he held himself from opening the door even when all he wanted to do was save his girlfriend, the moon of his life, the only lady he has ever loved ever since he was forced to kill his first love when he newly joined the arch angels, he could still remember the shock in her eyes when he stabbed her in the abdomen, he could still remember the look of betrayal, he could still remember her last words ‘Why Olanrewaju, why’ she kept on repeating till she lost all her strength and gave up the ghost.
He stood at the door trying to listen if he could hear some struggles or sounds from Adesuwa inside but there was nothing, on the contrary he thought to himself that it was a trap, there and then he started fixing the lines, Adesuwa has never at any point risked not having at least 3 to 4 extra inhalers in her room, Adesuwa has never texted him in abbreviations like the message was sent
“Ola my inhaler pls am dying pls brng it 2 my ause”
And to top it all, he remembered vividly that Adesuwa never call him Ola, it’s either she calls him Olanrewaju or Host. At that moment he made up his mind that it was all a trap that he had almost fallen into, he ran back into his car and drove off but a voice inside of him kept repeating those delicate words
‘Why Olanrewaju, why ‘
*** Few hours back ******
“… Slimmy, Woooow!” He stopped as he heard an excited scream from the car by his side. He turned back to look.
A young girl had just come out of the car, smiling as she stared into her phone with full attention. She quickly typed in some words into the phone before locking the car door. She looked into the phone briefly again before picking out a black sunglasses and fixing it on her face. Her gaze met with Ojo’s as she glanced up.
“Hi,” he said to her, with a smile.
“Hi’ she replied back less enthusiastically.
“Surely you don’t remember me do you? ” he was now out of his car and stranding in front of her
“Nope, should I”
“My name is Ojo, I met with you and your cousin Halimat the other day at the cafeteria ”
“Oooh it’s you, am so sorry for being rude hey”
“It’s no problem, pardon me but I can’t seem to remember that sweet name of yours”
“I promise I won’t forget that anymore”
“So what’s up with you and my cousin”
“Your cousin is the best actress that can star in a movie titled hard to get” he joked and they both laugh really hard.
“You seem like a nice guy, I might put in a good word for you ” she replied still smiling.
“I will really appreciate it”
“I gotta run now, I have a class to attend”
“Okay dear, please don’t forget to put in a good word for me”
“Okay lover boy” she replied as she walked away and he drove off, she then took out her phone again to check if she really saved the image before being distracted by Ojo, the image was right there in her gallery, a picture of Slimmy that she just saw on Gentle’s profile picture, a picture of a shirtless Slimmy laughing hysterically, it was really a sight to behold, the picture made her melt inside, she didn’t even realise when she screamed out his name moments ago when she was the picture.
Are you sure you don’t want to come inside and get a little massage from momma” Adesuwa asked Host teasingly
“Ohh sounds tempting but have got some things to fix” Host replied and Adesuwa dropped from the car, watched Host zoom off before entering her gate, she just finished turning the key and about to turn the knob when she felt a cold metal at her head.
‘Just open the door and go inside slowly’ a male voice commanded from behind and she obliged, she went into the house and four guys came inside with her.
‘we are not here for you, just do as we say and you will scale through all of these unscathed’ the commanding voice spoke again ‘bring out your phone and unlock it’ she did as she was told, the guy with the commanding tone typed somethings on the phone and dropped it on the sofa afterwards, he instructed the other guys to place a tape on Adesuwa’s mouth
‘Just to be sure, you didn’t remember to pick your inhaler from Host’s car, did you ?” The guy with the commanding tone asked her and Adesuwa shook her head with a look of shock all over her face.
“Wondering how we got to know that yeah? One of my boys just checked his car to confirm that and do you even know where he is right now?” he asked her again while she just kept quiet and stared at him inquisitively ‘He is stuck in traffic, one of my boys just drove a motorcycle past him and he made sure to scan for the inhaler that was laying on the driver’s side, I bet you were expecting me to say he is with another girl” the guy said laughing really hard, looked like he was enjoying himself.
* Present time * *
They all sat down patiently awaiting Host’s arrival. After some minutes they heard a car parking outside the compound, one of them immediately rushed towards the curtains to check who was approaching from the gate ‘It’s him’ he announced, they all took brought out their nine millimetres and pointed it to the door, they were all ready to shoot him as soon as he opened the door but for some reasons he didn’t, he just stayed outside for a moment ,then turned back and rushed away.
Seems like your boyfriend don’t really care if you die from an asthma attack’ the guy with the commanding tone spoke, in a much angrier tone this time. “Check what he’s doing,” he ordered one of the boys with a head gesture.
The guy quickly peeped through the window and checked. “He’s driving out o,” he returned saying to the one who seemed to be the leader of the attack.
The guy took in a breath, his face clearly displayed his anger and disgust as he confirmed with the sound of the car driving away. Kill Host, that was the plan. But they wouldn’t leave without doing anything if Host refuses to present himself. He paced around angrily for a few minutes, staring at Adesuwa who was vibrating and visibly terrified.
He glanced at his wristwatch, they had waited about six minutes for Host and he wasn’t returning. He stopped pacing around and began to think. It would be dangerous to linger any longer. Host may just have another plan for them, remembering that Host was more conversant with the area than he and his men. He raised up his gun and cocked it. He pointed it straight to the middle of Adesuwa’s forehead.
Host was squatting behind the fence and peeping through the space between the gate and the wall. It was in a large compound of an abandoned uncompleted building which was his hideout in that area, unknown to any other person. His car was parked inside the compound. It was just a few hundred metres away from Adesuwa’s house, at the opposite side. From there, he would be able to see anyone or group that comes out of her house and anyone going to the urban centre as the opposite route leads to rural areas.
Host dialed Suwa’s number but she wouldn’t answer her calls, maybe she was really experiencing an attack and couldn’t pick up her calls. No. He argued with himself, what was he even thinking? The strength she used in typing the message would have been enough for her to get to where she kept the other inhalers. He was aware that she always kept them at easily accessible places. It was definitely a trap set for him, he knew. But his love for her kept him in a state of panic and unrest, making him not to be able to think straight.
He couldn’t imagine what was going to happen to her if she was in the hands of his enemies. He felt cold all over his body as his bladder suddenly became full. This was the second time in his life that he was as scared as this. Nothing else of course could make him so scared, not even a bullet on its way into his skull, he wasn’t afraid to die himself but what he couldn’t stand to see was the death of his second love. He felt like going back to the house but that was a stupid idea. He decided on the next best option. He took out his phone and dialed Slimmy’s number.
The call was answered in few seconds. “Slimmy, call for two other people to join you. Meet me at 42/6 Denril Crescent immediately. Fully armed!” He ordered.
His body shook in fear as he ended the call, he had just heard something like a gunshot. It sounded somewhat close, approximately from the same distance as Adesuwa’s house. He felt adrenaline rush through his veins as his whole body trembled. He got up and rushed out of the gate.
He quickly bent down as he saw a guy in the Tiger’s uniform come out from Adesuwa’s compound. Fortunately for him, the guy was looking in the other direction. He crawled back in through the gate and returned to his former position.
He was so impatient this time as he waited for them to pass. Soon, he could hear a vehicle driving roughly down the road. He peeped and saw the bus they had brought. He heard them hauling curse words and mentioning his name loudly as they drove away.
He came out to see if their vehicle was completely out of sight before he entered back into the compound, opening the gate widely. He rushed into his car and drove out, he couldn’t wait to close back the gate.
Gentle!” Slimmy barked loudly as he flung open the door. Gentle’s earphone was plugged into his ear, so he didn’t hear how Slimmy had called his name. But with manner at which Slimmy opened the door and with the way he was sweating, he could deduce that something was wrong. He pulled out his earphone and sat up.
“Get your metal, we are going to meet Capon at Denril Crescent now,” Slimmy ordered and barged out of the room.
Gentle knew better than to ask questions. Slimmy never orders him around except he had been ordered too. This time, Slimmy wasn’t his brother anymore but was functioning in the office of the cult’s second in command.
He quickly bent down and pulled out a revolver under his bed. He also pulled out a metal container which contained bullets and began to load his gun.
“Gentle, where are you?” He could hear Slimmy call out from outside. His door opened again and Kong came in, staring at him with a warning look not to delay.
He met the door standing ajar as he got to the entrance of her house. He pulled out his pistol from his back pocket and cocked it, he walked in carefully and tactically, to meet no one except the lifeless body of Adesuwa. A bullet hole was in her forehead. He dropped down to his knees, his heart was torn apart. His whole body felt weak and lifeless, his lips trembled and his hands and legs were vibrating.
He sat on his hind legs and dragged her body closer to himself. He rubbed his fingers around the bloody hole on her forehead. He tried to cry but tears would not come out of his eyes. His body was vibrating all over as he used his hand to cover her opened eyes. His mind flashed back to the day he met her.
It was in his second year, she joined them as a direct entry student. That was seven months after he had killed his first love with his own hands, he had vowed not to fall in love again but she was simply irresistible. The way she took her steps, the way she talks, her beauty and her brilliance in class. Everything about her was attractive. After observing her in silence for two weeks after the resumption, he felt he would die if he did not speak to her.
He went close to her after lectures one day and acted like he did not understand the just concluded lecture, asking her to explain it to him since she was the only student that was bold enough to correct the lecturers mistakes during the lecture. She recognized him as the jovial rapper in the class who always thrilled the class to us funny lyrics at lecture free periods. Due to his jovial and seemingly harmless nature, most of his course mates were not aware of his affiliation with a cult. Also as a younger cultist, he wasn’t allowed to roll with the bigger guys on campus. He could only greet them from afar. Nobody except his hostel mates who weren’t necessary his course mates began to suspect with his attitude of always going out at midnights.
She willingly agreed and settled down to teach him before leaving for her hostel. Some students who knew Host began to murmur loudly as they exited the hall. Most of them were aware of Host’s intelligence as he came out as of the best students in their first year. Some of his guys even tapped him on the back and voiced out their encouragement loudly for him to continue his wooing plot but Adesuwa ignored their remarks and continued to teach him. She only stopped after she noticed he wasn’t looking at the book but at her lips. She politely excused herself and left the class.
After few months of being friends, he professed his love to her just before they began the first semester examination. To his surprise she agreed immediately. That was the first day they shared a kiss. Their relationship continued well for sometime. It was until the second week during the second semester examinations that the troubles started. He had began to grow in rank in the cult, he was already their second major hitman. They began to demand more from him.
Up until this time, he tried to hide his relationship with her from them and their relationship with him from her. He was aware that when some of the leaders gets to develop interest in a girl when they find out that their junior was dating her. But as things began to get more complicated, she began to see him with the guys already labeled as dangerous on campus. She also met them on several occasions in his room. She began to seriously question him and even avoid him sometimes.
He finally confessed to her three weeks after that resumed in the third year. She was heartbroken and became afraid of him. But she couldn’t leave him, she was already so much into him. She pleaded with him to leave the cult but he explained to her that it would mean death for him and it wasn’t an option.
Three months and arguing and fighting on it, she finally decided to stay after a nasty event. She had gotten into trouble with a member of another cult and ran to him for help. After saving her by taking the lives of two people in the other cult, she had no choice than to stay with him. Since then, their love grew stronger and stronger defeating all opposition and overcoming all challenges. Host vowed to protect her with his life and never allow anything happen to her or her siblings in school.
Host’s eyes was bloodshot, his heartbeat could be heard loudly in the quiet house. He stared her face once more and kissed her lips for the last time before he dropped her body. He saw a paper on the table, it contained the White Tigers signature, the signature was drawn with her blood as the ink. He picked up the paper and turned it to the back, he began to scribble something on it.
The door flung open.
Denril Crescent is known for it’s peace and serenity owing to the fact that most cult members didn’t really frequent the neighbourhood, it served as home to the fragile and cowards, densely populated by females and females, the female were regarded to as the fragile while the few males staying around there are generally regarded as cowards. Reverse was the case on that particular when a gun was shot in broad daylight, after the gunshot some of them that had enough courage managed to peep through their windows and saw a white bus filled with armed men who were obviously cult members, things got worse when they saw the arrival of some guys in their greet jacket and green beret, at that moment they knew trouble has fallen upon their area.
Host’s eyes was bloodshot, his heartbeat could be heard loudly in the quiet house. He stared her face once more and kissed her for her last time before he dropped her body. He saw a paper on the table, it contained the White Tigers signature, the signature was drawn with her blood as the ink. He picked up the paper and turned it to the back, he began to scribble something on it.
The door flung opened but he didn’t take his gaze and concentration away from what he was scribbling, maybe he was sure that it was his boys that barged in or he just honestly didn’t mind care anymore, he just lost the moon of his life, the only lady that has managed to keep him insane, the only lady that set boundaries for him, his only hope, his Adesuwa.
‘Why Olanrewaju, why?’ he wrote at the back of the paper.
“Bossman, what happened here” Slimmy asked in order to announce their arrival. Host still didn’t turn to face them, instead he squeezed the paper he was writing on and threw it to Slimmy, Slimmy bent down to pick it up and then read the contents after unfolding it, he first read what Host wrote on it before flipping to the other side ‘The white tigers’ he said barely audibly but audible enough for everyone in the room to hear. Slimmy looked round and read the expression on Gentle and Kong’s faces, he could barely make a note out of what they were feeling inside of them, because he was the only one that knew Adesuwa as Host’s girlfriend, he was the only one that Host told about his relationship with Adesuwa so he could relate to why Gentle and Kong didn’t understand what was going on, he alone knew the kind of anger and pain Host was feeling inside of him.
Bull’s eye’ Host said after a long period of silence, they all adjusted after hearing Host’s voice. ‘They struck me where it hurt the most, I must give that to them’ He continued with a smile and a much calmer voice and then kept quiet again ‘ Adesuwa’ he roared as he stood up to face them, fear gripped all of them when they saw the anger in his eyes, never before have they seen him that angry.
‘Let the angel’s in heaven keep the gates opened because many more are going to die along with my Adesuwa’ he roared out again in a thunderstorm voice and then snatched away the Berreta Model 12 sub machine gun from Slimmy’s hand, he then proceeded outside the gate and started shooting vigorously into the air making sure he wasted the 32 round magazine. Slimmy, Kong and Gentle just stayed behind the gate staring at him with all intense, they knew better than trying to stop him, it was even better for them that he was shooting into the air. After several minutes of madness, Host came to a halt and then proceeded into his car and drove off, Slimmy, Gentle and Kong also rushed into the car they came with and hastily drove away behind him.
‘How far’ Oj asked as Small led the expedition team back into the crib as they usually call the uncompleted building where they sometime hang out. ‘He almost fell into the trap but he changed his mind at the last minute and escaped’ Small replied Oj who was sitting on a piece of block gulping down his codeine mixed with lacasera.
“The bastard no wan die” Oj laughing mysteriously “So na as una go na hin una take come ?”
Nope, we couldn’t just waste our time without relaying a message for him na” Small replied.
“So which kain message una leave? ”
“We killed his girlfriend”
“His girlfriend?” Oj asked almost shouting this time around but immediately tried to conceal his fears with a smile so as not to pass across the message of being a coward to his subordinates.
“Yea Oj, his girlfriend” Small replied
Now that’s trouble Oj thought to himself as he gulped down all the contents in the bottle and then threw the empty bottle against the wall. “Now the war has begun, it’s time to show them why we are called the tigers, send a message to all our members immediately”.
Why don’t you just try and give the poor dude a chance Halima, it’s high time you gave a relationship a trial, you are not getting any younger”
“See who is teaching me relationship stuffs o, you this small Hadijat of yesterday, what do you even know about relationships”
“You might be older than me but you know very well that I have got more experience than you in this aspect”
“I hear you o Madame Experience ” Halimat teased and they both laughed.
“Does that mean Yes?”
“Nah but at least I will give it some thinking for now”
“That’s my beautiful cousin” Hadijat ran to the couch where Halimat was resting on and then placed a peck on her cheeks, Halimat phone started ringing and then she picked it up.
“Where are you Halimat”
“Where else should I be”
“My Friend answer me, do you think am joking”
“Am at home now” Halimat replied after hearing the seriousness in Rough’s voice
“Where is Hadijat”
“She is right here with me, what’s the problem Rofiat”
“You guys shouldn’t go out of for no reason please and make sure you lock the doors and the gate, am not coming up tonight”
“What’s happening Rofiat”
“An open war is about to kick start between The white tigers and the arch angels, am sure you know how bloody it’s gets whenever those two are at war with each other” Rough explained.
“Okay sister, we won’t go out”
“Okay goodnight” Halimat was about dropping the phone but then decided against it “Rofiat, please be careful”
“I will” Rough replied and the call was terminated.
Halimat explained what Rough just told her to Hadijat, she(Hadijat) seemed more worried about the situation, all she could think of was if Slimmy will survive the war, she prayed for him in her mind.
The quietness in town had gone far beyond Denril Crescent and the school, even areas which were several kilometres away from the Crescent and the University were unusually quiet and calm, it was as if they were mourning the death of a mighty ruler of theirs. The news of the soon to come campus war spread abroad the city so fast. The store owners who would usually close their stores between nine to ten pm before closed and locked the shops before six pm.
Students who stayed in the campus had began to flee from their hostels. Even the lecturers joined in the fleeing. Only those who stayed outside campus and well secured areas by the government were bold enough to stay in their homes. Some students in the mass communication department also summoned the boldness to stay behind as they would love to follow and be the first to report the news as the event unfolds.
“Damn! How come you people missed Host?” Screw barked angrily as he smashed a bottle of alcohol on the tiled floor. Coded, OJ and Small were standing before him, they kept quiet as Screw blasted on. Small and OJ continued to stare at the ground while Coded eyes followed Screw everywhere as Screw continued to pace about angrily.
“I didn’t plan for us to miss this first strike,” he said after taking in a lump of smoke from the tobacco in his hand. “Why didn’t you call me before killing the girl?” He turned to OJ.
OJ raised his head slightly and turned to Small who had led the job for an answer.
“Baba, we didn’t want to leave without dropping any message for him,” Small replied after much hesitation.
“But you should have called me or Coded on phone, I would have asked you to bring her over here. Coded would have proffered a better plan too,” Screw barked out again, emitting the smoke from his nostrils and mouth on Small’s body.
Small just stood there wondering why Screw was so furious about the assignment. To him, they had done a very good job but instead of receiving an applause, they were being chastised.
Only OJ and Coded knew why Screw was so furious. They had been in the cult longer than small, even though small was their major hitman. Screw’s plan was to kill Host first, believing that they hit the Shepherd, the sheep would scatter. That would have been the easiest way for them to win this battle of supremacy. But now that they’ve stepped on Host’s toes instead of taking him unawares and silencing him, Host was going to reinforce with his team and strike back with inspiration from the pain they had caused him.
Screw knew how much Adesuwa meant to Host, he knew how Host valued her above any other thing or person. He knew that Host was ready to do anything for her. He knew so much about Host’s love for her. The dreadful thing was that he also knew so much about Host himself. In fact, they have had several encounters, Screw knew that Host was not a person to be toyed with.
Host and Screw were students of the same department, although for the past two years none of them had been seen attending classes nor doing any school work but their names were always in the class attendance and test sheets.
Screw and Host had become rivals from their first year in school. They clashed with each other on the football pitch during one of the department’s training sessions when Host had being selected as a preferred striker to Screw. Since then, they always opposed each other.
Screw was the first to join a cult group sometime close to the end of their first year’s first semester. His cousin who was a 400Level student of engineering then was the leader of the cult. Host joined a the Arch Angels cult few days after Screw. But Screw’s initiation was more noised in the class then as a lot of folks were aware of his blood ties with the unknown leader of the cult.
Screw and Host’s first bloody clash was in two hundred level second semester. Host was already one of the major hitmen in his cult then. He was sent to take the life of a young rival cultist who had disrespected the leader of the Arch Angels. The young man happened to be a friend and roommate to Screw.
That day, Screw and his friend were returning from a night club by 2am and their phones were switched off due to low batteries already, the light from the moon had led them home safely. When they got to their room, there was darkness all over because of failure in electricity supply. They entered into the room and began to search for their rechargeable lamp where they kept it close to the door, beside their television set. The light then suddenly came on from the corner of the room, where Screw’s friend had his bed positioned, the lamp was guarded by textbooks at each sides to prevent people from seeing who was behind it. They could see traces of green clothes but couldn’t see the person’s face. As brave cultists that they were also, they did not run but stayed, energized by the confidence that they were in their room. The person in the green cloth began to draw near, pointing the light to their faces, making sure that the shinning blade of his dagger was seen. Screw quickly scampered towards where his box was located, he had some weapons hidden there.
Screw’s friend also brought out a knife which was hid behind his belt to protect himself, he tried to strike the intruder first even though the bright light was disturbing him from seeing properly. Surprisingly, the intruder did not make any attempt to attack. Unfortunate for Screw’s friend, his strike wasn’t against any person. The lamp had fallen down immediately he struck and he fell down with it, on a stick wrapped with green clothes. Alas! The intruder wasn’t the one holding the lamp but was navigating with a long staff. Before Screw’s friend could recover, a dagger was thrusted into his belly and blood began to gush out.
Unluckily for Screw also, he met his box opened and weapons all gone from there. He rose up and removed his knife also. The intruder picked up the lamp and directed it towards Screw.
Then luck shined on Screw, electricity was restored that moment and the room was brightened. The intruder’s body was seen in his green gown but his face was covered with green paintings. The intruder flung the lamp away and gave an evil laughter.
“Tell your fathers that the Host of the Arch Angels have delivered his judgement to him,” the intruder said with scorn, pointing to Screw’s friend’s lifeless body. After that, he fled through the opened door and was seen to jump over a fence.
Screw rushed to his friend’s body but it was too late, he had stopped breathing. He stared at the bed where the intruder was seating. All the weapons he was looking for in his box were on the bed.
“The Host of the Arch Angels,” he whispered to himself in anger. Then, no one knew Host or who he was then. Screw didn’t know at that moment that it was his rival who killed his friend.
TO BE CONTINUED。
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